1002 Charges for Materials

Policy Number 1002
Effective Date: August 1, 2021
Updated: February 17, 2022
Subject: Charges for Materials


To detail fees, notices, bills, payment processes and collection of accounts.

Lost Items

Material is considered lost when: it is 30 days overdue or a patron loses Library material, and notifies the Library. Account holders are charged the full replacement cost of the item. The replacement cost for an item is the single price listed on the item record.

  • The Library cannot accept replacements in lieu of payment.
  • The Library cannot accept the return of items declared lost on accounts that have been sent to the City of Chesapeake Treasurer for collections, and have been assessed a $30 non-refundable processing fee by the City Treasurer.

Missing Items

Missing items are items returned without all the pieces associated with that item. This includes but is not limited to: a DVD or CD case returned without all its discs or booklets, Read-along kits returned without accompanying material, books returned without accompanying material, and Library of Things items returned without all pieces present. If items are not returned within 14 days of notification, the item will be assessed fees, and entered into the normal billing cycle.

Damaged Items

In order to recover money needed for the repair or replacement of damaged library material, a non-refundable damage fee will be assessed, and patrons will be charged for damaged items returned to the Library in a state rendering material unusable by other patrons. Patrons will be notified about the charge via mail or email. An item is considered damaged when it is unable to circulate because of poor condition. Damage includes but is not limited to: soiling, liquids, personalization, graffiti, markings, negligence, destruction or abuse. Items exhibiting wear and tear from regular use and/or cosmetic imperfections may still be in circulation per Library staff discretion; those characteristics may be noted on the item's record. Damaged items will remain available for inspection by the patron for 30 days.

Billing and Notification Cycle

Notices and Bills (Time Sent)

Pre-Due Notice (3 days before item due date)

One Day Overdue Notice (1 day after due date)

Seven Days Overdue Notice (7 days after due date)

First Bill (30 days after due date)

Final Bill (60 days after due date)

Collections (120 days after due date)

For accounts with fines not qualifying as Lost Assumed, the Library pursues the collection of balances owed through monthly notices.

Overdue Accounts


Traditional and Business Cards with balances of $50 or more and Youth Cards with overdue materials will be placed in blocked status. Blocked accounts are prohibited from checking out or renewing Library materials.


Accounts with lost item balances greater than $200 and more than 150 days old will be charged a non-refundable $30 administrative fee, and are pursuant to collection by the City Treasurer.

  • Once an account is in the City Treasurer's collection process, no further action can be taken by the Library including: setting up Library Payment Plans, accepting overdue items or payments, the waiving of any charges, or offering a claims-returned procedure.
  • Payment on accounts in Treasurer are made to the City of Chesapeake Treasurer. Payment information for the City Treasurer can be found online at cityofchesapeake.net.
  • Payments can be made online or in person at any City of Chesapeake Treasurer's Office.
  • The Treasurer processes eligible delinquent accounts weekly.
  • The Treasurer may assess a tax lien.
    • A copy of the lien is mailed to the account holder or legal guardian one week prior to mailing a copy of the lien to the account holder's employer. The account holder has seven days to pay the Library fees in full or to make payment arrangements with the Treasurer's Office. Payment arrangements may be made to pay the account in installments prior to the lien being mailed to the employer.
    • If the account is not paid, the Treasurer sends the tax lien to the account holder's employer. When the account is paid in full, the Treasurer's Office will send a release to the employer, update the account in the Library database, and delete Debt Set Off (DSO) claims, if applicable.
  • The Treasurer may issue a Distress Warrant on fees that cannot be collected through a tax lien.
  • Each December, the Treasurer reports outstanding debt to the Virginia Department of Taxation.

Payment of Accounts

All accounts, with the exception of accounts in Treasurer status, can be paid in one of the following ways.

  • Online - Debit and credit card payments may be made at by selecting "Make a Payment" from the menu at chesapeakelibrary.org.
  • In Person - Payments may be made at any Chesapeake Public Library location with cash, personal check, or money order.
  • By Mail - Payments may be made by check or money order to the following address:
    Chesapeake Public Library
    Attn: Circulation Department
    298 Cedar Road
    Chesapeake, VA 23322

Checks are accepted for the exact amount only and must include: name, complete address, telephone number and driver's license number.

Checks must be made payable to "Chesapeake Public Library" or "City of Chesapeake".

Payment Plans

Account holders with balances not in Treasurer status may be eligible for a Payment Plan. A Payment Plan may be arranged by a Circulation Supervisor, Library Manager or Designee.

  • Payment plan patrons may not check out Library materials.
  • Balances must be paid in full within 12 calendar months.


  • All payments are final. There are no reimbursements for lost or damaged items.
  • Patrons should ensure they have searched completely for the materials before paying for lost items. Patrons may request staff to complete a search as well before paying for an item.